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Pärt: Symphonies No 1 & 2, Etc / Järvi, Mork, Et Al


Release Date: 07/13/2004 
Label:  Virgin Classics   Catalog #: 45630   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Arvo Pärt
Performer:  Truls Otterbech Mork
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian National Symphony OrchestraEllerhein Girls' Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Although he writes music in a very different style today, Arvo Pärt was right not to repudiate these early works, difficult though some of them are, for he always has been a gifted composer who knows how to achieve the results he is looking for. The earliest work here, the charming Four Gardens (Meie Aed) for children's choir and orchestra, is an accessible bit of music described in the notes as an example of "socialist realism", and I suppose in some sense it is. But what really should we expect of a work for children's choir? Is Peter and the Wolf a piece of political propaganda simply because it does not take advantage of the latest avant-garde tendencies? It's charming music, excellently performed, and I suspect for most Read more people that will be sufficient.

The remainder of the music on this disc, though, does indeed belong to the avant-garde (meaning lots of dissonance and noise), most notably the cacophonous Second Symphony--but even here the music is well worth listening to if only for the light that it sheds on Pärt's later style. Pro et Contra, for cello and orchestra, begins with a plush major chord and then oscillates wildly between consonance, dissonance, and apparent randomness, while the solo cello (the excellent Truls Mork) wanders about like a lost soul in search of a safe haven, sometimes reduced to a frustrated knocking on his instrument rather than playing actual notes.

In short, these are works that make crystal clear Pärt's ongoing search for stability, for a consistent mode of address--a musical language that he could call his own. The fact that he has found that language does not render the search unworthy of attention. Although most of this music has been recorded previously, it would be difficult to imagine finer performances than these: beautifully played and recorded, and totally committed. Most of this isn't easy music, but it is meaningful, interesting, and well crafted. If you admire Pärt's current output you may find these documents of his artistic journey fascinating and well worth your time, even as you come to understand why he felt the need to radically change his mode of utterance to get beyond what he regarded (rightly, I should think) as a stylistic impasse.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

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The range of musical styles seems as bewildering as the times Pärt has lived through. Do all these sounds really belong to the same composer, or just to history? Our Garden ("Meie aed"), the lone vocal item on the Virgin disc, is a slice of Socialist Realism from 1959: the full-throated singers are sunny little girls, and the "garden" is the Soviet Union. The alarming optimism contrasts, equally alarmingly, with the modernism of Perpetuum mobile, the heavenly immobility of Spiegel im Spiegel, and the Bachian pathos of Es Sang vor Langen Jahren. Both recitals offer up the composer and his music as a sign and signifier of his times, and ours...the sound on the Virgin CD is otherwise excellent, and the disc is recommended for presenting the earlier Pärt as a startling, major figure in his own right, under Soviet strictures. Perpetuum mobile is the high point, with its grim forebodings.

-- Paul Ingram, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1 "Polyphonic" by Arvo Pärt
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964; Estonia 
Date of Recording: 06/2003 
Venue:  Methodist Church, Tallinn, Estonia 
Length: 19 Minutes 56 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 2 by Arvo Pärt
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966; Estonia 
Date of Recording: 02/2003 
Venue:  Methodist Church, Tallinn, Estonia 
Length: 15 Minutes 6 Secs. 
3.
Perpetuum Mobile, Op. 10 by Arvo Pärt
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963; Estonia 
Date of Recording: 08/2003 
Venue:  Methodist Church, Tallinn, Estonia 
Length: 6 Minutes 56 Secs. 
4.
Our Garden, Op. 3 by Arvo Pärt
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra,  Ellerhein Girls' Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; Estonia 
Date of Recording: 08/2003 
Venue:  Estonia Concert Hall, Tallin, Estonia 
Length: 11 Minutes 7 Secs. 
5.
Collage sur B-A-C-H for Strings, Oboe, Harpsichord and Piano by Arvo Pärt
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964; USSR 
Date of Recording: 02/2003 
Venue:  Methodist Church, Tallinn, Estonia 
Length: 7 Minutes 30 Secs. 
6.
Concerto for Cello "Pro et Contra" by Arvo Pärt
Performer:  Truls Otterbech Mork (Cello)
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966; Estonia 
Date of Recording: 08/2003 
Venue:  Estonia Concert Hall, Tallin, Estonia 
Length: 9 Minutes 18 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Pro & Contra Cello Concerto (dedicated to Mstislav Rostropovich): I Maestoso
Pro & Contra Cello Concerto (dedicated to Mstislav Rostropovich): II Largo
Pro & Contra Cello Concerto (dedicated to Mstislav Rostropovich): III Allegro
Symphony No 1 Op. 9 'Polyphonic' (1963): I Kaanonid
Symphony No 1 Op. 9 'Polyphonic' (1963): II Prelüüd ja Fuuga
Collage on the theme BACH (1964): I Toccata: Preciso
Collage on the theme BACH (1964): II Sarabande: Lento
Collage on the theme BACH (1964): III Ricercare: Deciso
Perpetuum mobile Op. 10 (1963)
Meie aed (Our Garden 1959) Cantata Op. 3 for children's choir & orchestra: I Allegro
Meie aed (Our Garden 1959) Cantata Op. 3 for children's choir & orchestra: II Andantino cantabile
Meie aed (Our Garden 1959) Cantata Op. 3 for children's choir & orchestra: III Allegro
Meie aed (Our Garden 1959) Cantata Op. 3 for children's choir & orchestra: IV Moderato - Allegro
Symphony No 2 (1966): I crochet = 104-120
Symphony No 2 (1966): II minim = 112
Symphony No 2 (1966): III crochet = 48-60

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Beautiful Album July 14, 2013 By P. Nauman (Reno, NV) See All My Reviews "Well played and fine engineered sound quality. Nice perspective of the composers earlier works from the 60's. Overall, very impressed." Report Abuse
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